tv Democracy Now WHUT October 5, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
10/05/12 10/05/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" from colorado springs. >> in all of us, try to assert description we live in, but only great because of what we do with it. sometimes we make mistakes. will we change that is we admit our mistakes and take responsibility for our mistakes, and we change and try to be better and do it together. i am returning my global war on terrorism medal because i do not fight wars on adjectives.
>> 11th anniversary of the invasion of afghanistan. we look at the invisible wounds of war. we will speak with afghan war veterans graham clumpner, now an activist priest and to dave philipps, author of, "lethal warriors: when the new band of brothers came home." he exposed tall wave of violence swept across colorado springs when the 506 and a trichet return from iraq. >> there is a stigma many people in the army told me against getting help for mental behavioral issues. it is seen as weak. it is often seen as just an excuse to get out of the army if he cannot hack it. >> all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,"
democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're on the road in colorado springs, colorado. hundreds of protesters have begun gathering in the jordanian capital of amman to call for reforms a day after the country's king attempted to deter the protest by dissolving parliament. king abdullah had also called for early elections in a bid to dissuade demonstrators from rallying. as many as 50 dozen people are expected to join the demonstration called for by the jordanian wing of the muslim brotherhood. turkey has authorized further military action against syria as a continue to fire artillery across the border for a second day thursday in retaliation for mortar blast that killed five turkish civilians. turkish police used teargas to disperse anti-war protesters to the turkish parliament while lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a measure allowing the military to conduct cross border actions. the turkish prime minister said
the country was attempting to deter further violence. >> turkey wants peace in the region as well as safety. this is our sole concern. we do not want war and never would. the consequence of four in the region is obvious. the parliamentary authorization of foreign deployment of turkish troops is intended solely as a deterrent. as you are aware, one of the most important instruments to prevent clashes is deterrence. >> police in south africa have shot and killed another striking miner amidst continuing labor unrest. the worker was shot in the stomach with a rubber bullet and died after police moved to disperse protesters gathering near arrested bird platinum mine. the killing comes less than two
months after police shot dead 34 striking miners at the marikana platinum mine in the country's bloodiest security clash since the end of apartheid. the strike spread across the mining industry this week as striking toyota workers forced a plant in durban to close for four days. the workers were expected to return to work today after winning a pay raise. reports have emerged iran has been attempting to gather support for a plan to end its stalemate with the united states and its allies over the country's alleged nuclear program. iranian officials have outlined a nine-step plan whereby iran would end work at one of two uranium enrichment sites in exchange for the easing of sanctions that are devastating its economy. u.s. officials have dismissed the plans as untenable. the protests have erupted this week in iran amidst a worsening financial crisis this all the collapse of its currency.
yemeni officials say u.s. drone strike has killed five people in the southern province. the attack hit two vehicles that were said to be carrying militants with links to al qaeda. the pakistani political leader imran khan has vowed to move forward with a peace march in debt highlighting the impact of u.s. drone strikes in pakistan's troubled areas. activists from britain and the in the state's, including codepink leader medea benjamin, are joining the march from islamabad to south waziristan despite concerns over security in remote areas. president to candidates in venezuela held closing rallies thursday ahead of sunday's election. president hugo chávez is facing challenger henrique capriles and what to be the toughest challenge of his 14-year rule. chávez, who is recovering from recent cancer surgeries, addressed hundreds of thousands of supporters.
>> you all know there were several times that i was about to die for being faithful to the venezuelan people. and that is my path. i will not fail you. i will always be faithful to the venezuelan people. >> president chávez's opponent held a rally in the venezuelan state of lara on thursday. he addressed job as director in his remarks, saying it was time for a change. >> i want to tell you your term ends. i think you infinitely publish i think he infinitely from my heart that you allow me to see clearly the root of love, not hate, the route towards life, not darkness. commitment to the people, not insult or hate. >> a u.s. citizen opened fire at a hotel in his earlier today, killing an employee before being
shot dead by police. the shooter reportedly had been working at the hotel in the resort city. as part of a program that brings americans to israel, but was recently fired from his job. on the campaign trail, president obama slammed republican challenger mitt romney during appearances in the battleground states of colorado and wisconsin. some have criticized obama's appearance in the first potential debate wednesday night, he appeared lackluster compared to more aggressive romney. obama hit back against his opponent during a rally in denver, accusing romney of backtracking over tax cuts for the wealthy. >> when i got onto the stage, i met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be mitt romney. [laughter] but it could not have been in romney because the real mitt romney has been running around
the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts to favor the wealthy. the fellow on stage last not said he did not know anything about that. >> mitt romney tried to capitalize on his high marks from the debate as he campaigned in the swing state of virginia. some critics noted obama fell to ask from the about his famous 47% comment that nearly half of americans believe they are victims entitled to government support. during a fox news appearance thursday night, sean hannity asked romney how he would have responded if obama had brought it up. >> clearly, in a campaign with hundreds, if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you say something that does not come out right. i said something that was completely wrong in this case. i absolutely believe, however, my life has shown i care about 100%. that has been demonstrated
throughout my life. this whole campaign is about the 100%. >> fast-food chain tripoli is reached a deal with the florida- based coalition of immokalee workers to improve wages according conditions for farmworkers who pick tomatoes used in its products. the company previously had refused to sign a contract affirming its commitment to the coalition's fair food program, which 10 other companies, including mcdonald's and burger king, have already joined. thursday's agreement comes a day after a coalition member appeared on "democracy now!" in denver to discuss its efforts to pressure chipotle. dozens of walmart workers at retail stores in southern california launched a one-day strike to protest retaliation against employees who have taken a stand over working conditions. on thursday, hundreds of workers and their supporters rallied in front of a southern california
retail store. the strike follows walkouts at warehouses in california and the new head of the world bank has signaled he is planning to unveil major reforms next week during meetings in tokyo. on thursday, jim yong kim said he will push for the world bank to be able to move more quickly and be held accountable for on the ground results. he helped found partners in health with dr. paul farmer and is a former president of dartmouth college. a video of a wisconsin news anchor taking a stand against a viewer who insulted her weight has gone viral. wkbt-tv anchor jennifer livingston received an e-mail from a viewer who took issue with what he termed her physical condition saying --
she used the insult to make a statement against bullying. >> the truth is, i am overweight. you couldn't call me fat, yes, even obese on a doctor's charge. but to the person who wrote me that letter, do you think i don't know that? that you're quillworts are pointing at something that i don't see? you don't know me. you're not a friend of mine. in your not a part of my family and you have admitted you don't watch the show, say nothing about me but what you see on the outside. and i am much more than a number on a scale. to all the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference, or disability, even the acne on your face, listen to me right now. do not let yourself or it be defined by police. >> those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
we're on 100-city silent majority election 2012 tour and today we are broadcasting from colorado springs. it is the second-largest city in colorado. in and around the city you will find four major military installations -- fort carson, peterson air force base, the united states air force academy, shriver air force base and the cheyenne mountain air station. this weekend marks the 11th anniversary of the u.s. invasion of afghanistan. the invasion began on october 7, 2001, less than a month after the september 11 attacks. the the war has gone on for more than 4000 days, making it the longest war in u.s. history. at least two dozen u.s. soldiers have died in the war. the death toll in afghanistan is unknown. today we will take a look at the invisible wounds of war here at home. some 2.4 million soldiers have
been through iraq and afghanistan and the psychological toll of the wars is mounting. the last year the veterans of ministration, or va, treated almost 100,000 iraq and afghanistan veterans for ptsd. but many agree that the numbers could be much higher because not everyone who suffers seeks treatment. here in colorado springs, the commanders at fort carson have come under scrutiny for its handling of mental health concerns, with a 2010 joint npr- propublica investigation finding that as many as 40% of fort carson soldiers had mild brain injuries missed by army health screenings. meanwhile, in 2009, the colorado springs gazette published a startling series called " casualties of war." examined a part of war seldom discussed by the media or government officials -- the returning tolty of
civilian life after being trained on a killer. the story focused on a single battalion based at fort carson in colorado springs, the second battalion, 12th of a tree regiment. the battalion's nickname is " lethal lawyers." in iraq, the unit fought in some of the war's bloodiest battles. for some of the soldiers, the killing did not end when they return home. the gazette reported since 2006, at temperatures soldiers have been arrested and accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter. committedrans have been suicide. the murder rate for members of the army unit was 114 times the colorado springs. the series was written by investigative reporter dave philipps, who turned his reporting into the book, "lethal warriors: when the new band of brothers came home." dave philipps joins us here in
colorado springs. also with us in colorado springs is georg-andreas pogany, an independent veterans' advocate and investigator. his a retired sergeant first class from the nine states army. we're also joined by graham clumpner, afghanistan war veteran, colorado regional organizer for iraq veterans against the war. we welcome you all to "democracy now!" thank you so much vote to you for coming in from denver it is snowing. >> it was snowing on the way down. >> the first snow of the season. graham clumpner, you are a veteran of the afghanistan war. tomorrow marks the 11th anniversary of this war. your thoughts today? >> when we went back 11 years ago sunday at 11:00 in the morning central time, which is colorado time, president bush came on television and announced to the nation we have begun bombing the people of afghanistan. 11 years later, we have a
lineage that has extended longer than any other war and looking at a situation where we have so many millions of soldiers coming home to communities like colorado springs and not being able to set right the trauma they expressed in those combat zones and outside the combat zones, just by nature of being in the military. participating in this patristics system, whether you deploy or not, is a traumatic experience. people bring those traumas back to our communities. we are trying to find a way or the soldiers, sailors, infantry, all of the members of the armed forces come back and be integrated into their communities. >> you are organizing this weekend. you're part of a group of soldiers and veterans have come together in denver. explain what is happening. >> in 2004, iraq veterans against the war was founded by the first returning soldiers from the iraq war. since then we have expanded to
include any soldier or veteran who has served post 9/11 in the global war on terror. our organization has been prioritizing afghanistan veterans recently, not only because we have the most problems coming out of afghanistan, out of the six countries where currently bombing, but also because afghanistan veterans can speak to a larger concern. which is, it is easy for the american people -- and the world in some cases -- to lose sight and stop paying attention to these conflicts. as we sit here today, there are soldiers and there are civilians sitting in firefights and sitting in situations where their lives are at risk, and we don't take a lot of time to look at other than the numbers on the front page of the newspaper that say four dead or seven dead. so this week and we're having iraq veterans against the war first afghanistan retreat. we're bringing afghanistan members from across the country here to colorado, meeting in
denver, and discussing what kinds of things we have been successful at in the past and where we failed. then where we need to go in the future. looking at organizing model says in the spectrum of the coalition for a mockery workers to the civil-rights campaigns in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's to the environmental movement. we're taking those lessons and moving forward as we look at a larger pat the militarism. this is not just about libya or somalia or iraq or afghanistan. we're talking about iran, the future, and asking ourselves, how we feel safer when we are involved in more bases and countries than we have been in history? >> dave philipps, place as here today, here in colorado springs. for people across the country who do not understand this city at the foot of the rockies, talk
about its military significance for the country. >> and a lot of ways colorado springs is an average town in terms of demographics, in terms of crime rates. just about anything you look at in the senses. the big difference is by far our largest industry, if you want to call it that, is the department of defense. how many active duty to we have here in colorado springs? over 50,000, i believe. that really is the lifeblood of our town. >> this investigation that you did, the unit called lethal warriors, share with us what it is you found as you worked for the gazette, nominated for a pulitzer prize, your investigation. >> it started with just seeing a lot of soldiers getting arrested for murder. we did not know until we started digging it was not the entire
30,000 soldiers at fort carson that were responsible, but just one group of 500 guys. at that point, we said, my god, how could he have so much violence coming out of one small group? it must have to do with their collective story of their experience. so we started tracing that story by going to the prisons, talking to the guys in there, finding their friends and talking to them. what we found, essentially, is these guys had been in the worst places in iraq. they had been through things that most people, even people who are familiar with the war would find unspeakable. when they came back, they came back to a system that had been prepared for an iraq or that the administration thought would last six months, in a prepared to really deal with any psychological casualties -- and not really prepared to deal with any such a large coke casualties.
punishof times and them, kick them out. these guys to spiraled into a very dark place and it ended in violence. >> here at fort carson, the murder rate, 114 times the murder rate in colorado springs for civilians? >> for that battalion we looked at. you have to remember the combat battalion is almost all young men. but even when we correct for demographics, it is something like 20 times as high. twice as i would have been amazingly significant. this was off the charts. when we called for carson to ask about this, a lot of times the official response was, "we don't know what the problem is you're talking about. it is unfair free to try to paint our break were fighters as criminals."
there was a reluctance the to try to solve the problem. >> we will talk more about this after the break. we are joined by dave philipps who wrote a remarkable book called, "lethal warriors: when the new band of brothers came home." we will be speaking with georg- andreas pogany, a veteran from iraq, and graham clumpner with us as well, a veteran from the afghanistan war. they have gathered in denver for this gathering, the first afghanistan retreat of iraq veterans against the war. we will continue this discussion as we broadcast from colorado springs. it was just in number the last three, an honor to be here -- we're the first global broadcast in the center's history. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from colorado springs. in colorado, it is snowing for the first time. we are in the foot of the rockies, in one of the most heavily militarized areas of this country. an area of military bases for the army, air force. we continue our conversation with dave philipps, investigative reporter and author. in 2009 he wrote the award winning two-part series called "casualties of war" for the colorado springs gazette. "lethal warriors: when the new band of brothers came home." it is his new book showing how a wave of violence swept across
colorado springs when the 506th infantry regiment returned home from their first tour in iraq. the band of brothers have been deployed to the most violent places in iraq and some of the soldiers continued suffering from what they had seen and done in combat, even after leaving the battlefield. they were sent back to the front lines without much time to recover. after their second tour, they were renamed the the the lawyers since the soldiers once again brought the violence home. andrewlso joined by pogany and graham clumpner. graham clumpner has organized and afghanistan retreat, the first of his others, for iraq veterans against the war. andrew, when did you serve in iraq?
>> 2003. >> this is the first year of the u.s. invasion. >> correct. >> you are a counselor, psychologist -- >> i am a veterans' advocate. i have worked on the national level since my retirement from the army in 2007. that work has been combined with investigative work, which is part of my training as a professional. that is who i am. i have a colleague who i do this work with who is a counselor. >> what are you finding? >> we are finding the system is very ill-equipped and that the system is also not adapting and not changing. one of the things i wanted ad up front is we don't have a political position on this. we don't approach any of these issues from the position of
whether the conflict is correct or we should be there or not be there. our only concern is that there is an epidemic that is brewing and manifests itself mainly in suicides as well as other social problems, and there are some root causes that need to be addressed. that is what we advocate on. those are the types of cases we investigate and try to bring them to the attention of senior leaders to bring about some change. we fully acknowledge sometimes -- people disagree with our position on this -- sometimes war is important and sometimes it is necessary. we take a historical look at this bridge there are individuals, nation's, they owe their very existence to this been done. but as a nation, what is the cost of doing this business? if we don't have an honest and
open dialogue with the nation and its citizens about what this cost is, then we are failing. that cost is not just bombs and bullets. the cost is the psychological cost, the scars, the psychological injuries borne by those who survive war, come home, and then have to reintegrate back into normal life. part of the work we do also is not just to help individuals avoid the path to suicide or the path to homelessness or the path to being shoved off in the some fringe group of society labeled the mentally ill, but part of our work is to give those who have honorably served this nation in war, an opportunity to come home and reintegrate and be able to fully participate in normal life. >> do think the mental health services here in colorado springs at fort carson are
working? >> they are working to extend. they are very -- there are some innovative things that are happening at fort carson. it has been a hard road, but for carson, as part of the growth and painful growth they had to go through, they have had some very great experiences and some very innovative leaders and thinkers at fort carson to bring about some change. one of the things we see as the ongoing problem is there are players in the system that for whatever reason they're doing what they're doing, they are not doing the right thing. what we're referring to by saying this is we encounter case after case after case where it is painfully obvious there is malfeasance involved. and that starts with purposely misdiagnosing individuals and players with the system.
>> what do you mean? >> we have individuals that have the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, and when it comes to adjudicating that case whether from in the ministry of or medical standpoint, specifically when it comes to a foreign individual an opportunity to exit the military, those diagnoses are being changed to diagnoses that do not carry disability ratings, do not carry benefits, and when you change someone's diagnoses that only is it immoral and unethical, which are preventing them from receiving the proper and appropriate care. if you have someone as ptsd and they are frontally the best is having an adjustment disorder, to us, it is a very serious problem. for one, you are denying them the proper and appropriate care they need. no. 2, you are causing what is commonly referred to as the trail trauma.
that is the social component of ptsd. you have an individual who has served, has in expressing combat, come home with a combat- related and visible injury, and now you're just saying there mentally ill. it is wrong on every single level. not to mention from clinical standpoint, looking at the manual that is the book to help facilitate mental health diagnoses, it clearly states, for example, if an individual has an axis 1 diagnosis such as ptsd, giving the diagnosis of adjustment disorder is inappropriate. we have track this pattern for years. in the beginning, it was diagnosing ptsd and brain disorders as having personality disorders. next was the adjustment disorder, then it was indicted. the new trend is all of the seven individuals have
somatoform disorder. >> somatoform disorder? >> it is absurd. recently, there was a scandal at lewis-mcchord in washington state that providers or changing individuals diagnoses and denying the diagnosis of ptsd. when that came into the news cycle, i received calls and i was asked the question, what you think about this? i said, while this is tragic, it is not newsworthy. it has been going on for years. i was involved in investigation and for cars and in 2004 we identified a provider who admitted that there were purposely misdiagnosing so they do not have to pay benefits. so this is an ongoing problem. it is one of the root causes that ultimately leads people to commit suicide. so this notion that's johnny
comes home and some have committed suicide because he could not balance its checkbook or he had relationship problems, that is only one aspect. that might be the trigger that caused him to commit suicide, but nobody looks at the path to suicide. suicide is not something that happens at the drop of a dime. people don't like up in the morning and say to themselves, what am i going to do today, commit suicide? that sounds like a good idea. people cannot on a path that continuously deteriorates their mental state. at some point in time, they're emotionalise thfrom pain impossible physical pain that they see no way out except detector own lives. >> there was a suicide recently. >> there was an individual who crashed his vehicle into a light pole, a tree, fence, nation and
took his life. it was a suicide that the individual posted on facebook he was going to do that. the reason that case is relevant to us right now is because we have a case right now, which is what actually takes the cake as far as we're concerned, on the heal of the arms-the suicide prevention stand down in response to the rising numbers of what we call or consider catastrophic amounts of suicide, an epidemic that is equivalent to a public health crisis, we get a case where an individual who has attempted to consult -- >> this past may. >> he attempted to consult in the same manner by crashing his vehicle into an object. now that individual is being recommended and considered for the ministry of separation from the military without benefits as
a result of misconduct. when we reviewed the file, the misconduct is the actual suicide attempt. so we are stunned. we are baffled that leaders would say that we're trying to prevent suicides, trying to work on the issue of stigma and address it, and then behind closed doors, we have these types of cases. is this prevalent across the board? probably not, but there is a certain percentage this is happening to. when you look at numbers across the board, it is always like the same percentage. >> this young man who attempted to kill himself, now the army's response is to sever him from the military without benefits. >> correct. >> yourself, you served in iraq. your then court-martialed? >> no, i was brought up on fabricated charges by my
command. i was wrongfully -- the wrongfully attempted to prosecute me for something that they alleged that happen. ultimately, the case was quickly dismissed so it never got to the point where it got to the court room. >> what did you learn from this? >> this was also in 2003. the case was closed in 2004. what i learned from that is, i mean, i learned various things. one, stand up and fight for myself. i also learned there are certain things within a system that may or may not work to an individual's benefit. when the system closes in and has an agenda, it can become very difficult for an individual to survive that. myself, i was close to not surviving what was happening to
me. luckily, i had a support system that i was able to rely on to make sure that i did come out on the other end. >> even though the case was thrown out, it was extremely important. you were the first american soldier since the vietnam war to be charged with what they called cowardice. for what? explain what took place. >> i had a psychological breakdown, which was induced by toxic levels of an anti-malaria drug we were administered. toxic levels of the drug caused practically a malfunction in the brain and cause me to have both auditory and visual hallucinations. and it caused me to not be able to function. when i approached my command and requested to seek medical help, they did not see it that way. initially. >> you also saw an iraqi be
killed. >> yes. >> what happened? >> he was shot by the main gun of a bradley. i did not witness the actual shooting. i saw the aftermath. >> which was? >> an individual hit by the main gun and a bradley fighting vehicle. >> which means he was -- >> he was very much disintegrated. it was very grotesque. but not anything -- it was not something that was that bizarre or grotesque. i had seen similar things previously in my life. so in response to me seeking medical help, my command in their infinite wisdom, sought to court-martial me. >> cowardice is a charge punishable by death? >> correct. it was a sobering reality to me. >> but what does cowardice mean? >> it just means cowardly conduct before the enemy, which
did not even apply in my case. >> which came from you at appealing to your superiors or commanding officer? >> and asking for medical help. within two said the charge been dropped, the charge was actually dismissed. it was replaced with another charge called willful dereliction of duty, which subsequently about 30 days after that was also dismissed. they ended the anti-malaria drugs they had given me had contributed the least they ended the anti-malaria drugs they had given me have contributed to my situation. i was not the only one. we later found out with a special operations community, at a minimum there were 12 individuals live pretty much the same type of reactions and side
effects from this particular drug. this drug is known to the medical community to cause problems, a black liberal drug. today out of those 10 or 12 individuals that have been identified, myself and another guy come are the only two still alive. the others have committed suicide. >> everyone else. >> correct. >> how many? what about 10. >> out of how many? >> out of the 12th and our investigation -- out of 12 and are investigation. >> wait, i think a lot of people will be shaking their heads. say it again. >> within the special operations community where i worked, in the course of several years, we identified roughly 12 individuals were 14 individuals that have had documented severe
side effects from the anti- malaria drug that we were given. out of those individuals, at a minimum, 10 have committed suicide as a result of side effects. >> graham clumpner, afghan war veteran >> history is a microcosm of a larger problem brigit that is the fact women and men who join the u.s. military are referred to as gi's which means the government issued. just like your helmet and a rifle, you are a piece of equipment. so the way the military looks at it from a health care perspective, as you are an active duty soldier or military member, is that if you are broken, you cannot give them what they need from you. so the military's health care is essentially trying to keep the peace of equal networking another six months' free take it, if you will. then they toss it aside,
especially now, because what we're going to publish their is a downturn of active duty personnel and contractors. we're looking at a situation where people are being pushed out for minor drug offenses, marijuana. you can go to a dispensary down the street and purchase marijuana at as a civilian in colorado springs, but as a soldier, they will push it out of the military and ruin the rest of your life. on a personal level, as i served in the military, there were numerous examples of family problems being not an issue to anybody in your chain of command. personal relationships with a spouse. car trouble. the simplest things you would think a community that we talk about when we say "band of brothers." it is a band of sisters and brothers now. we're looking at a world where we are asking people to go sacrifice and come home and shut up and not talk about it. and just go stay in their rooms
and once in awhile we will put a bumper sticker on our car and have a little yellow ribbon. that is the extent of the conversation we want to have. we heard earlier about the feeling of the trail. it is important to talk about trauma in terms of the trail. you can have an ied go off or a rocket and 40 people in the platoon and maybe only five of them are the ones whose brains do not hear from that. 30 days later, the other 35 may be relatively fine. but we cannot exactly figure it out, but we do see a parallel between people trusting their command, trusting their president, trusting the american people to make a proper choice about where and when we use these tools of war. let's be completely transparent. if you serve in the u.s. military, were first, last, and only job is to take the like -- as recall and the military clothes with and kill the enemy
-- you are serving a purpose. i think we're missing a larger conversation year because look at who is on this panel. three white men who have had experience on some level or to flee white community in colorado springs. the violence we are participating in whether we are actively or passively is not being done to people -- is being done to people of color from other nations. we're in a situation where we never talk about those people. i can come home and go to the va, remove myself from the source of my trauma. people in afghanistan and iraq and all of these other countries where we are dropping or having drone strikes, they cannot remove themselves from the source of their trauma. they do not have a veterans administration bridge in many cases they do not have access to basic healthcare. we lose sight of that every time to talk about this. i think it is important the
acknowledge this is larger than just an american problem. >> i want to add something to what you just talked about, specifically when it comes to the conduct of soldiers when they come home. there is a percentage of soldiers who engage in various activities that the military levels as misconduct, such as alcohol related offenses, drinking, substance abuse, drug- related offenses. those are misconduct in the military. so the process of helping those who come home and need help and appropriate care should not be confused with diminishing or degrading the system of accountability within the military. the military heavily depends on what is commonly referred to as the good order and discipline of the military. all of us in my field where we work, i acknowledge -- where i work, we of knowledge that.
someone who is not able to receive the proper inappropriate treatment or individually tailored treatment they need, they resort to things like self medicating. the science has proven, research has proven this is a fact. our all of these or substance abuse, depression, those are the most common diagnoses in ptsd. what we're faced with is an archaic military justice system that has not adapted, even though their own their own military law reviews show ptsd and substance abuse-related misconduct are close the related, that there is a nexus that one comes from the other. what we are addressing -- we're not asking the military to not have people held accountable for misconduct. if you need to punish someone because they illegally or in violation of regulation of used
the illegal substances, go ahead and punish them within the system, but that does not mean you up to go to the extent of imposing administrative sanctions that have an impact on the rest of their life such as taking away all their benefits and then putting a person without a safety net out into the community where they then become a problem in my community. and all they do is end of draining the resources of my community. and that can be within the criminal justice system, homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse, and the list goes on and on and on. there needs to be when it comes to addressing the issue of stigma, their knees to really be a revamping of -- there needs to be a revamping of how the ministration the ministers the punishment. we feel it is morally and
ethically wrong to deprive those who have honorably served this nation at war of the benefits they have earned, that this country as legislative they should be getting. >> we have to take a break, but will come back to this discussion. our guest is dave philipps, author of, "lethal warriors: when the new band of brothers came home." i want to talk more about this. you're just returning to revisit some of the stories of the people you cover it in this remarkable series first for the gazette in colorado springs and now as a book. georg-andreas pogany, iraq war veteran, now a counselor for soldiers returning home. graham clumpner with iraq veterans against the war, has drove in from denver. starting today, the first afghanistan retreat. he is an afghan war veteran for the iraq veterans against the war are putting on, a gathering nationally.
colorado -- air force, army. we're joined by dave philipps, the author of, "lethal warriors: when the new band of brothers came home." georg-andreas pogany served in iraq, graham clumpner served in afghanistan. this is the eve of the 11th anniversary of the war in afghanistan. we're broadcasting from the tyndall center for public media, which just opened, was inaugurated last friday. we're honored to be the first broadcast out of this center, teaching people in the community about civic engagement, citizen and journalism. it is wonderful to be here before a group of people from colorado springs. we will be traveling the western slope of colorado. check democracynow.org for our list of cities. we are here with dave philipps. dave, if you could talk about
"lethal lawyers." when he described the soldiers coming home, going back to work, went back to war in coming home, what happened on the base? give us an example. first let me say, we talk about the guys i wrote about are really young guys. we tend to think of soldiers as grown-up adults read these guys were 21, 22. sometimes it or not even old enough to buy a beer. in iraq, essentially they were given the mission of finding the enemy, but there is none defined. there was no uniformed enemy, only ied's that were blowing at their friends and even then. it was hard for them to deal with, let alone someone that young. so when they came home, the army
had a plan to make sure that everybody got screened to make sure they had no mental wounds from the war. essentially, there were marched into a room and given a multiple choice piece of paper to fill out that said, "did you see dead bodies? are you having trouble sleeping? three having trouble with substance abuse qu?" these guys all light, or a least most of them did. they lied because they have been taught in the culture of the infantry that they were tough, they could handle it. not only that, if they could not handle it, there were somehow a defect that had no business with the army. so they lied. to be fair, some of them did and some had help from the friends. some of them did not. they started doing things that in retrospect are obscenely dangerous. young men who have been taught how to use weapons literally
expertly, were tearing -- carrying a loaded firearm all the time around colorado springs. there were drinking a lot, doing a lot of drugs. we all have this in addition to killing people, it is just part of our human nature, that had eroded in them. when you mix together the alcohol, weapons, and his ability to kill that i think most of us cannot even fathom, it was very easy to all the sudden have bodies. people were killed for no reason. one man shot another guy for throwing up in the back of his car. another man drove for rowntree to get drunk and driver with an ak-47 and she people he did not know. >> i want to read in 20006, 21- year-old anthony mark is called a small-time drug dealer by shooting him repeatedly with the stun gun and shot him in the heart. louis arraba and shot a soldier
he picked up in the street. in 2007, three soldiers from the unit left bullet riddled body of a soldier from their unit on colorado springs street. earlier they intentionally drove into a woman walking to work. one of the soldiers repeatedly stabbed her. another situation, to drive around with an assault rifle, randomly shooting people want beat a former girlfriend to death. -- one beat a former girlfriend to death. these are horrifying stories. >> to a certain extent, this was going on very much under the radar for colorado springs.
it was only when we started digging that we uncovered how some of these horrific, senseless acts were really all connected to sort of a larger toxin that these guys have brought home. >> graham clumpner, as we wrap up, talk about more of what you're doing this weekend. >> iraq veterans against the war has been organizing model since just after president obama was elected. as we have seen on the left in this country, it is been difficult to have an anti-war voice. on the one hand some does not want to push too hard and the other hand they think it is falling on deaf ears. iraq veterans against the war is trying to make some decisions for the long term.
as we look at the pentagon, they make a 20-30 year plan. they talk about climate change and acknowledge it exists. they talk about the future threats in the anti-war movement, and a lot of these health care movements, we are reactionary. we do not plan ahead. this weekend is the beginning of starting to look forward and say, what is the next war? we're not just focusing on bringing the war to an end, but preparations for the afghan people and full health care for our own returning veterans. that is part of what we are doing. we are taking this as a larger conversation because as we see the news on syria and turkey this week, or with it that iran and the differences with the european powers in the u.s., we are looking at a world that is not going to stop in militarize any time soon. >> where people meeting in denver? >> 27 social center next to the football stadium. we have about 20 participants at
this point. the 11th anniversary of the beginning of the afghan war, we're going to be spending some time for our own memorial. it will be the first memorial that we have. every time we've had to go to these public memorials and stand there and hear all of these lies in these things that are just so broad, the to not deal with the real loss, we will be sharing the stores with each other. >> thank you for being here. that is our broadcast in colorado springs. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]